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Rajendra Prasad Mohapatra

The Opposition in the Assembly on Tuesday came down heavily on the State government for the shortage of paddy seeds and providing poor-quality seeds to the farmers.

“Many old varieties of paddy seeds like 1009, Purna, Kasturi, Kalajari, Gayatri and Padmakeshari are not available in the market. These rare varieties of paddy seeds have become extinct,” said senior Congress leader Sura Routray.

Meanwhile, some Opposition leaders also alleged that most of the paddy seeds provided by the State government to the farmers are not even getting germinated.

“The State government has given contracts to some private agencies for providing paddy seeds to the farmers. However, they are providing poor-quality seeds and those seeds are not getting germinated. I am not sure whether the government knows about the development,” said BJP MLA Bhaskar Madhei.

Responding to the concerns of the Opposition leaders, Agriculture Minister Ranendra Pratap Swain said, “The State needs around 13,27,760 quintal of paddy seeds for 2022-23 season. The State government has already provided 4,75,244 quintals of seeds to the farmers and the rest will be provided soon.”

“Around 5,200 farmers in the State have been preparing paddy crops to meet the requirement of the farmers,” he said.

According to Swain, the variety of paddy seeds is changed every 10 years as per the direction of the Centre. Hence, the State government has no information about the old varieties of paddy seeds.

“Odisha government is providing around 75 varieties of paddy seeds to the farmers with the help of 22 private agencies. If there will be any reports of non-germination of paddy seeds, immediate steps will be taken,” said Swain. 

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